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Journal Article

Triadic Modal and Pentatonic Patterns in Rock Music

Nicole Biamonte
Music Theory Spectrum
Vol. 32, No. 2 (Fall 2010), pp. 95-110
Published by: on behalf of the Society for Music Theory
DOI: 10.1525/mts.2010.32.2.95
Stable URL:
Page Count: 16
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Triadic Modal and Pentatonic Patterns in Rock Music
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The pitch syntax of mainstream rock music comprises a variety of tonal, modal, blues-based and chromatic elements. Traditional constructs of scale-degree theory and harmonic functionality, while originally pertaining to art music, can be usefully modified to address elements of rock music that do not conform to tonal norms, particularly when these elements are considered in conjunction with other musical parameters such as rhythm, hypermeter, texture, consonance, and contour. This study examines the context and function of some harmonic structures unique to rock music that cannot be interpreted in conventional tonal terms: double-plagal and Aeolian progressions, and triad-doubled scale systems.

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